Remains of RFK’s Granddaughter Found Off Maryland Coast: Authorities

April 6, 2020 Updated: April 6, 2020

Maryland authorities said they discovered the body of Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, on Monday.

According to a news release from the Maryland Natural Resources Police, McKean was found dead in about 25 feet of water at 5:30 p.m. ET after they used underwater sonar technology. She was located some 2.5 miles south of her mother’s residence in Shady Side, Maryland, officials said.

Both McKean and her son, Gideon, 8, went missing late last week when they got into a canoe and tried to retrieve a ball from the Chesapeake Bay. They disappeared shortly after, leaving officials to embark on a search-and-rescue operation.

The Natural Resources Police agency said officials would resume a search for Gideon on Tuesday.

“It is clear that Maeve and Gideon have passed away,” McKean’s husband David wrote on Facebook over the weekend. “We were self-quarantining in an empty house owned by Maeve’s mother Kathleen on the Chesapeake Bay, hoping to give our kids more space than we have at home in DC to run around,” he added.

“They got into a canoe, intending simply to retrieve the ball, and somehow got pushed by wind or tide into the open bay,” her husband added. “About 30 minutes later, they were spotted by an onlooker from land, who saw them far out from shore, and called the police. After that last sighting, they were not seen again. The Coast Guard recovered their capsized canoe, miles away, at approximately 6:30 [Thursday] evening.”

This undated image posted on Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean's Facebook account
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean with her family, including her son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, bottom right. (Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean/Facebook via AP)

Kennedy McKean is the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and is the daughter of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who had served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan confirmed the two went missing during on Friday and suggested that they both drowned.

“I spoke with the former Lieutenant Governor, and on behalf of the people of Maryland, I expressed our most heartfelt sympathies to her and to her entire family,” he said during the conference.

Authorities said that at the time of their disappearance, conditions were windy.

The Kennedy family has a long history of tragic incidents, including the deaths of Robert F. Kennedy and former President John F. Kennedy. The president’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr., and his wife died in a plane crash in July 1999. Several of Robert Kennedy’s children and grandchildren also died over the years.

Robert F. Kennedy’s son, David, died of a drug overdose in 1984, and another son, Michael, died in a skiing accident in the late 1990s.

Last year, Saoirse Roisin Kennedy Hill, who is also the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, died at the family compound in Massachusetts.